Succession Law in Ireland: Principles, Cases and Commentary

Succession Law in Ireland: Principles, Cases and Commentary


A new approach to understanding succession law


Author: Dr Albert Keating | ISBN: 978-1-905536-78-8   | Format and Price: Paperback €99 | Publication Date:  17 Feb 2016 


Succession Law in Ireland: Principles, Cases and Commentary is not a case book in the traditional sense. The use of cases in this work is done with the purpose of discerning the key principles, criteria and prerequisites applied by the courts in arriving at their decisions, knowledge of which is essential to practitioners and students in the field of succession law.

Succession Law in Ireland: Principles, Cases and Commentary contains 16 chapters.  Each chapter is structured in the following way:

  • the subject matter;
  • the legislation, principles, criteria or prerequisites relevant to the subject matter;
  • reference to cases and the application of principles, criteria or prerequisites to the issues, and the findings of the courts;
  • Author’s commentaries appear at the end of each chapter.


The contents cover diverse topics such as:

  • execution of wills;
  • testamentary capacity and undue influence;
  • the revocation and revival of wills;
  • class gifts and powers of appointment
  • the legal right of spouses and civil partners;
  • s 117 applications
  • unworthiness to succeed and disinheritance
  • the construction of wills;
  • the issue of costs;
  • equitable concepts and doctrines;
  • foreign elements;
  •  the duty of care of solicitors;
  • accountability and privilege;
  • gifts taking effect on death;
  •  the validity of proceedings;
  •  the limitation of actions.

Instances of the type of principles, criteria and prerequisites include the Kearns’ Principles devised by Kearns J (as he then was) in In the Estate of ABC, XC v RT [2003] 2 IR 250 were derived from previous cases involving s117 applications to the courts by children of testators, the Lowry Principles devised by Lowry LCJ in  Heron v Ulster Bank Ltd [1974] N.I. 44 are applied in cases dealing with the construction of wills, the Fennelly Criteria in Corrigan v Martin, Unreported, High Court, Fennelly J, 13 March, 2006, are referred to whenever the provisions of s 9 of the Civil Liability Act 1961 and the periods of limitation for bringing actions against the estates of deceased persons become an issue, and the prerequisites of the equitable doctrine of proprietary estoppel formulated by Laffoy J in Coyle v Finnegan and Finnegan [2013] IEHC 463.

About the Author

Dr Albert Keating BCL, LLB, LLM, BL, DLitt, is a barrister and Senior Lecturer in Law at Waterford Institute of Technology. His published works on probate and succession law include Keating on Probate (2011) (4th ed) and Keating on Probate, First Supplement to the 4th ed (2013). His books also include Probate Law and Practice, Probate Law and Practice Case Book, Probate Causes and Related Matters, Keating on Probate (2nd ed) The Law of Wills, Equitable Succession Rights, The Construction of Wills, The Law and Practice of Personal Representatives, Keating on Probate (3rd ed), Irish Wills Precedents, Irish Probate Precedents and Keating on Probate – The Complete Words, CD-Rom, (2004).  His works on jurisprudence include Jurisprudence published in 2011 and numerous articles on the subject in the Irish Law Times.  His most recent book on jurisprudence is Jurisprudence (2nd ed) (2014).  He has also published numerous articles on probate and succession law in such journals as the Conveyancing and Property Law Journal, Irish Law Times, Irish Probate Law Journal and Judicial Studies Institute Journal, and chapters on Probate and Succession Law in the Annual Review of Irish Law since 2004. The author’s most recent publication is Succession Law in Ireland also published by Clarus Press, 2015.

Content includes

  • Chapter 1: The Execution of Wills
  • Chapter 2: Testamentary Capacity and Undue Influence
  • Chapter 3: The Revocation and Revival of Wills
  • Chapter 4: Class Gifts and Powers of Appointment
  • Chapter 5: The Legal Right of Spouses and Civil Partners and Section 56 of the Succession Act 1965
  • Chapter 6: Section 117 Applications
  • Chapter 7: Unworthiness to Succeed and Disinheritance
  • Chapter 8: The Construction of Wills
  • Chapter 9: The Issue of Costs
  • Chapter 10: Equitable Concepts and Doctrines
  • Chapter 11: Foreign Elements
  • Chapter 12: A Duty of Care, Accountability and Privilege
  • Chapter 13: Gifts Taking Effect on Death
  • Chapter 14: The Validity of Proceedings
  • Chapter 15: The Limitation of Actions
  • Chapter 16: The Decision-Making Powers of the Courts

Who Should Buy This Book?

This book will be of interest to students and practitioners. For students this text outlines the key principles of succession law and distils and explains the essential concepts and rules of succession law. For the legal practitioner, Succession Law in Ireland: Principles, Cases and Commentary is very much a companion text to the main work published recently by Clarus Press, Succession Law in Ireland. 




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